There’s never been a more important time to engage with tenants, which is why launching a tenant experience app, right now, is key. The current statistics around Coronavirus in the U.S. are grim, and they’re leading to a fresh round of restrictions that vary by state. Across the board, businesses are wondering how they’ll stay connected with clients, customers, and stakeholders.
Commercial real estate companies face this same question: How will building owners and managers connect and engage with tenants through the next wave of COVID-19? How will they build community in a holiday season with no traditional holiday parties or gatherings? Whether because of government mandates or personal reticence —tenants who had slowly started to venture out will, once again, adjust how they frequent commercial spaces.
Adapting to these changes will be critical for the future of business. Fortunately, there are ways companies can stay connected. Here are three to keep in mind:
1. Learn from the spring and go digital
Back in July, Brand expert Denise Lee Yohn declared “Retailers need to stop expecting business to return to ‘normal’” in an article for The Harvard Business Review. Yohn explained that even when it was safe for doors to reopen, consumer habits had changed. Her best advice for companies: Upgrade the in-person experience—and go digital.
For retail, she suggests: “including real-time inventory management, predictive analytics, AI-powered search, and personalization and co-creation functions — can create completely new and different shopping experiences. Take, for example, social commerce, which not only enables companies to sell through social media channels but also incorporates social interactions; peer support, reviews, and recommendations; multimedia content; personalization; gamification; and more. A retailer can use these new capabilities to create a social, interactive, immersive experience wherever customers are —that’s something no physical outlet can provide.”
These best practices apply across industries. A digital experience can be more timely, custom, and robust, and digital innovations can strengthen connections and increase consumer loyalty and sales across all of your stakeholders, from customers to tenants and employees to members.
enCappture client Ken Colao, President of CNY Group, used their app to boost employee engagement during the first COVID shutdown. “Our app hosted contests and content about everything from best quarantine exercise photo to most creative work from home environment. It even allowed people to share tips for healthy living.” CNY Group VP People & Culture Katie Urtnowski added: “having an app helped to bound us together while we were sheltering in place apart. The app made our remote happy hours fun and engaging.” Many of these activities are still being employed as CNY’s employees continue to work remotely.
CRE companies can apply similar programming to keep tenants engaged through this second surge.
2. Celebrate the holidays in a COVID-safe way
This is not a typical holiday season. While that means some traditions will be put on hold, it also provides opportunities to be a part of new celebrations. You can still hold ugly sweater contests and share holiday recipes—and doing it through an app means your stakeholders can access and share this content safely, and at the touch of a button.
We love these ideas from HR Executive for employee gifts that focus on health such as phone sanitizer boxes and yoga mats. The article also touched on the importance of not forgetting corporate charitable and social impact efforts.
Having a mobile app would facilitate coming together to give back. Whether it’s coordinating drop-off locations for Toys for Tots or reminding tenants to donate to a food bank with a push notification; companies can use their app to focus on those in need and make stakeholders feel more connected this holiday season.
3. Plan for future reopening when it’s safe again
In times of uncertainty, one thing that builds confidence is having a game plan for the future. While we can’t predict when—or if, or to what extent—buildings may close in the coming weeks, we do know that at some point down the road, they will be open and stay open.
We also know that a mobile app’s features make tenants feel safer and more comfortable when returning to their workplaces. enCappture’s tenant experience app connects occupants to amenities, services, and content; provides touchless access to concierge and building personnel; allows tenants to book shared spaces, conference rooms and rooftop lounges, wellness classes, and events like happy hours; and highlights important Covid-19 related content like re-entry protocols, maintenance schedules, and hand sanitizer locations and more.
Going the extra mile goes a long way to building loyalty, trust and peace of mind, too. Craig Deitelzweig, President & Chief Executive Officer at Marx Realty, welcomed all of his tenants back to the building with bathrobes when it reopened earlier in 2020. It was a small way to show he cared and wanted his tenants to feel comfortable in the building.
We all know that things look different in 2020, but the holiday season will still bring merriment and opportunities to engage like every other year. Anticipating and reacting to your clients’ needs with your tenant experience app may even allow you to feel more connected than ever.
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